[dropcap]H[/dropcap]aving placed third in the 2017 Nissan SA Outdoor Grand Prix, rider and coach Dominey Alexander gave us an update on his preparations ahead of this year’s Nissan Easter Festival.
Who are the horses that you’ll be competing on at this years NEF?
I’ll be jumping Armageddon and Discovery Enjoy 68 in the 1.5m, Discovery Cellehof Drummer Boy and Athena VI in the 1.4m, Catinio in the 1.35m and Discovery Pilgrim 1.3m.
Tell us about your horses’ personalities?
Armageddon is firey, competitive and affectionate. Discovery Enjoy 68 is very fast and brave but insecure (he never likes to be left alone). Discovery Cellehof Drummer Boy is calm, brave and independent. Athena VI is sweet and kind. Catinio is cheeky and talented – he is dynamite in a small package. Discovery Pilgrim is sweet and kind with a good future ahead of him.
How do you prepare in the weeks leading up to a show such as NEF?
I do a lot of fitness with them as they’ve all been on holiday, and a lot of strength work too. We also practise lines that we might get at the show.
Tell us about your thoughts on show day?
I always sit in the truck, change my shirt and have a quiet moment to myself. As a coach, many people rely on me for guidance and emotional support, therefore half an hour before the course walk, I go and sit quietly in the truck.
What do you love most about NEF?
It has to be the biggest show in South Africa – with so many different disciplines which brings people from all over the country to one venue and of course, having Nissan as our sponsor.
How many times have you competed in this show?
I have competed at NEF many times. The more classes I’ve won, the more fun I’ve had and the less I’ve won the less I’ve liked it.
What competition do you love most at this show?
The Outdoor Grand Prix on the Monday because being the last class of the show, it generates the greatest atmosphere and it’s the most prestigious class at the show.
Who are your favourite horse & rider combinations to watch?
I enjoy watching good riding and wonderful horses, which we have a lot of in South Africa. The level of competition has become very high so any of the riders in that class could win.
What music do you think your horse would want on show day and why?
Seeing as both my top horses are hot and firey, I think they would like calm, tranquil music. Enjoy would want the Juicy Wiggle and Armageddon would like Thunderstruck.
Tell us something about you that nobody knows?
If I told you everyone would then know.
Text: The PR Machine. Copy edited by HQ.